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  #81  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2019, 6:13 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by Investing In Chicago View Post
I think Lakeside Center is a terrible idea - there wouldn't be a hotel component attached to LC, which any Casino Operator would most definitely require, and any operator will want flashy signage, ala Vegas or AC, something LC would not allow, or if it did, would look god awful on the lakefront.

My money is on some sort of development that resembles Encore in Boston.
There are existing hotels directly tied into the McCormick Complex. They could add more in conjunction with the proposed expansion. Would be quite interesting actually to make a mega convention hotel casino complex like that.

But I agree with the notion that it should be Thomson Center. That gaming floor with a huge atrium would send gamblers into a frenzy just because of the setting. The upper floors would make a fantastic hotel and the mechanical issues could be remedied during the conversion.


Speaking of vintage Jahn HVAC, I happened across a cache of original mechanicals blueprints for the UAL terminal at OHare. The antiques mall had no idea what they were sitting on, paid $8 a page for them. Also grabbed two sectionals of the theater at the end of Navy Pier that I found in that stash. Am framing them the add to my collection of Chicago planning memorbelia. I'm running out of wall space and these things are 3x4' without matting and frames. Gonna need another Airbnb to support my habit!
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  #82  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2019, 6:39 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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By Thompson Center I'm assuming you're all proposing to demo it and build a new casino there?

Because the existing Thompson Center gets tons of sunlight. My understanding is that casino operators generally don't want to have windows.
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  #83  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2019, 10:00 PM
Goose Island Guru Goose Island Guru is offline
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Sequestered from the rest of the city is exactly what I DON'T want to see. A couple weeks ago, Ed Zotti had a great article in the SunTimes explaining this.

Zotti says that Chicago should follow the London model. Here's a picture of what the "London model" looks like: London Hippodrome

He also says that the Thompson Center "might make a good casino — perhaps a spectacular one." I agree.

I also think the block surrounded by Illinois, Rush, Hubbard and Wabash would make a fantastic site. I'd tear down the Realtor's building and widen the Plaza of the Americas (but leave 444 No Michigan). The main pedestrian entrance to the casino would be on the east side, facing the Tribune Tower. With hotel and residential above the casino, this would be a very large project; i.e., easily more than $1 billion. I could go on but I'm getting into fantasy land.
Totally agree on Thompson. Imagine the gambling floor being down where the food court is and the huge open atrium above. You could find a way to knock out some slabs on the 3rd and/or 4th floor and create a small entertainment venue and use the smaller floor plates as hotel rooms, all looking down onto the casino floor. Also keeps street level retail alive for an active streetscape. Seems like a natural use for an otherwise garbage property without enormous modifications.
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  #84  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2019, 10:05 PM
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I have zero nostalgia and love for the Thompson center. About the only thing that would make me excited for a Chicago casino would be to demo the entire thing and build a new retail, dining, casino, hotel complex with a supertall tower.

I'd love to see a design competition around that.
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  #85  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2019, 10:16 PM
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ardecila ardecila is offline
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
By Thompson Center I'm assuming you're all proposing to demo it and build a new casino there?

Because the existing Thompson Center gets tons of sunlight. My understanding is that casino operators generally don't want to have windows.
Traditionally, no... but the research supporting that decision was debunked after Steve Wynn went a different direction at the Bellagio, design-wise, and made a killing. It's more a question of whether the casino operator has an old-school mentality or if they are open to new thinking.

Even a new-school operator would probably close off the exterior walls, but that's more for the same reason a grocery store or department store would do it. There's nothing sinister going on - they don't hate sunlight or want you to lose track of time - it's just that the perimeter of the room is a prime place for merchandise, or slot machines. You wouldn't want to squander that on windows.... but skylights, or clerestory windows that sit up above a row of machines, are totally fine under the new school of thinking.

Because a gaming floor can have partial windows but not full windows, it's better situated above or below grade in a city, but definitely not right at street level.

At the Thompson Center, I imagine a basement-level gaming floor - with blank walls but ample light from above - might do quite nicely. The upper level could be surrounded by fine dining to create the kind of Italian piazza that Helmut Jahn was imitating. Unfortunately, I don't know if the building is large enough to accommodate the 4,000 gaming positions authorized by law.
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Last edited by ardecila; Aug 1, 2019 at 10:26 PM.
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  #86  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2019, 10:34 PM
TR Devlin TR Devlin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
By Thompson Center I'm assuming you're all proposing to demo it and build a new casino there?

Because the existing Thompson Center gets tons of sunlight. My understanding is that casino operators generally don't want to have windows.
The Thompson Center is a great post-modern building and one of the treasures of the Loop. Ed Zotti's not proposing to demolish it and neither am I. Covering the windows on the gaming floors is one of many details that would be worked out. But when done it would be a great fit with the theaters on Randolph St.
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  #87  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2019, 3:20 AM
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There's already a casino in Rosemont (I think; I vaguely recall one near my airport hotel). And Rosemont is a separate city.
I didn't know Rosemont already had a casino, and true, it's not part of the city proper.

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Originally Posted by Investing In Chicago View Post
And how exactly would the City of Chicago benefit from a Casino in Rosemont?
Proximity? Out of towners go to Rosemont all the time and also make way to downtown.

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Originally Posted by TR Devlin View Post
Zotti says that Chicago should follow the London model. Here's a picture of what the "London model" looks like: London Hippodrome
It would be absolutely fantastic to have a casino that blends so well into our urban fabric like this.
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  #88  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2019, 2:15 PM
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I didn't know Rosemont already had a casino, and true, it's not part of the city proper.



Proximity? Out of towners go to Rosemont all the time and also make way to downtown.



It would be absolutely fantastic to have a casino that blends so well into our urban fabric like this.
There's Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, adjacent to Rosemont. They're about to have a big expansion.
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  #89  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2019, 3:54 PM
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It would be absolutely fantastic to have a casino that blends so well into our urban fabric like this.
Again, the London casinos are not a good example. They are strongly focused on table games with relatively few slot machines. This means the gambling floor, and the building it sits in, can be designed differently. This kind of setup might work in Vegas focusing on high rollers, but probably wouldn't appeal to the gambling clientele in Chicago, so no American casino operator is gonna do that.

Then there's the scale issue. The Chicago casino authorized by state law has up to 4000 gambling positions. This is more then 3x as large as Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and somewhat larger than Horseshoe Casino in Hammond - although dining, entertainment, and hotel options also go into determining the overall size of the building. I don't know that you can fit a casino of this size into a historic building like the London example. And since the city is relying on the revenue from a new casino to fill budget holes, you can bet they will push any casino operator to max out the full 4000 positions.
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  #90  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2019, 4:21 PM
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BonoboZill4 BonoboZill4 is offline
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Originally Posted by aaron38 View Post
I have zero nostalgia and love for the Thompson center. About the only thing that would make me excited for a Chicago casino would be to demo the entire thing and build a new retail, dining, casino, hotel complex with a supertall tower.

I'd love to see a design competition around that.
Couldn't agree more... trying to salvage that mess of a building is just a desperate look. I walk through it all the time and beyond the atrium, what is there to like about it? The exterior is hideous, the office space is aged, it's inefficient in space usage, and even the atrium itself isn't utilized very well.

Perhaps whatever is built there to replace it can insert some sort of atrium as an homage to the building, but the sooner it is sold and demo'd, the better off everyone will be. We'll actually be able to generate tax revenue from the plot of land for once
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  #91  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2019, 5:30 PM
Jim in Chicago Jim in Chicago is offline
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Originally Posted by TR Devlin View Post
The Thompson Center is a great post-modern building and one of the treasures of the Loop. Ed Zotti's not proposing to demolish it and neither am I. Covering the windows on the gaming floors is one of many details that would be worked out. But when done it would be a great fit with the theaters on Randolph St.
No. The Thompson Center had a shot at being a great post-modern building before value engineering took hold. It's pretty much a POS in my humble opinion.
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  #92  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2019, 5:38 PM
Freefall Freefall is offline
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Casinos need large amounts of parking. The Loop proper would not be appropriate.
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  #93  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2019, 5:49 PM
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Casinos need large amounts of parking. The Loop proper would not be appropriate.
Parking garage? Or even better, expect people to take public transit.
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  #94  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2019, 11:02 PM
chicubs111 chicubs111 is offline
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Parking garage? Or even better, expect people to take public transit.
I heard this thing called under ground parking is pretty popular in other cities
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  #95  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2019, 11:21 PM
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The Casino on the McCormick Place - Marshalling Yards

In my opinion the best site to build the casino is McCormick Place - Marshalling Yards.
In addition to the casino, there would be room for hotel towers, an elevated train station and a 2,000 ft tower (SKY TOWER) with restaurants and observation points for tourists.




This is just a my idea, not a real project.

Last edited by Sky88; Aug 2, 2019 at 11:38 PM.
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  #96  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 3:18 AM
marothisu marothisu is offline
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^ Sim City?

In my dream, I'd hope for an upscale or upscale-ish casino downtown in an already existing building but the prices on the games run the gamut and aren't all expensive. Just gives people a different vibe. I have no idea if the Thompson Center would make a good casino. Maybe? No idea, but I'm sure there's other buildings. I totally agree with Ed Zotti on this. I've been to many casinos across America whether Vegas or rural Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, etc. Most of them are the same and it gets boring. Familiar, but boring. Even going into a "high roller" room in Vegas, you don't really feel like one. It pales in comparison to the stuff I've experienced in Asian casinos too.

Not only do many Chicagoans love the old mobster stereotype of Chicago, but so do tourists. Obviously you don't want to play to Al Capone or whatever, but why not play to the 1920s, for example, and kind of stoke those things? Make people feel like they are in the Chicago of old. Not like gangsters, but the classy part that some people see in pictures from some of them. The "London model" is more about card games - I'm sure you can do a mixture to be honest. It would be nice if they made part of this something where you felt like you were stepping into a Monte Carlo casino (but way dialed down on the pretension) in one part and maybe another is more approachable or familiar to others with more slot and video type games (i.e. video poker, video roulette, etc). On another note, I enjoyed the casino a lot at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.


The more I think about it, the more I don't like putting this anywhere except downtown in a big, existing building with pretty big floor plates. People will cry foul that it's not put in a non downtown neighborhood, but honestly putting it in a struggling neighborhood is probably not a good thing except for providing some nearby jobs to people already there. While you can win in the short term in a casino, in the long term the house (casino) wins out. The last thing you need is to take away money from already cash strapped neighborhoods. Just my opinion. Figure out how to hire bigger from those neighborhoods though and make sure they can get to work fine.

Put it downtown, and you already have the public transit stuff figured out. They can probably work out deals with nearby parking garages or somehow subsidize some parking after X amount of hours in pay to park garages. If you make part of it upscale, then you'll have the nice cars getting valet'd to look at. People can take public transit, and people can drive in if they really want.


I think Chicago needs to set apart itself on this. I find 99% of casinos in America the same thing at their core whether they're in Vegas or in Michigan City, IN. Part of that can be a good thing, but Chicago should also strive to do a little to set itself apart from the rest of the casinos in this country which are a dime a dozen. This is just me though, but it would be awesome if you could go to a casino and it felt like you were stepping into the 1920s (the good part) and not into the cheese that is 99% of American casinos. People love role playing - they'd probably eat that s*it up. But on the other hands, it will be attacked by all sorts of people so it won't ever happen like that. It's going to end up as a casino in some part of town where tourists and 75% of locals will never go to, and will probably not do very well especially if put in a far flung area.

Of course you don't have to, but you could follow what casinos like Marina Bay Sands in Singapore does (Thompson Center?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF_pg35UMrA

Last edited by marothisu; Aug 3, 2019 at 3:49 AM.
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  #97  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 3:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sky88 View Post
The Casino on the McCormick Place - Marshalling Yards

In my opinion the best site to build the casino is McCormick Place - Marshalling Yards.
In addition to the casino, there would be room for hotel towers, an elevated train station and a 2,000 ft tower (SKY TOWER) with restaurants and observation points for tourists.




This is just a my idea, not a real project.
I actually really like that.
Maybe add a retractable (or just a dome stadium) to host Final Fours/Super Bowls and addition convention space and I think you got a complete complex.
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  #98  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 7:54 PM
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BonoboZill4 BonoboZill4 is offline
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I actually really like that.
Maybe add a retractable (or just a dome stadium) to host Final Fours/Super Bowls and addition convention space and I think you got a complete complex.
As long as that stadium isn't built with public money... Can't stand that sort of garbage
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  #99  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2019, 4:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Sky88 View Post
The Casino on the McCormick Place - Marshalling Yards

[


This is just a my idea, not a real project.
Good work on this!
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Last edited by HomrQT; Aug 4, 2019 at 5:45 PM.
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  #100  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2019, 2:00 PM
ChiPlanner ChiPlanner is offline
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Thoughts: CBOE HQ as a location for the Casino?
  • Access to LaSalle Street Station
  • Access to the Blue line at LaSalle
  • Downtown
  • Close to Union Station
  • Stradles Ida B. Wells (Congress)
  • Theoretical expansion onto the parking lots/garages adjacent or going over top of the Metra
  • Trading floors could transition to gambling venues
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